KHRT ND News – 10/23/21

KHRT NEWS – SATURDAY – 102321 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Minot police say they are aware of social media posts where there is a threat against “Central High School”. They say at this point they do not believe it is a credible local threat against Minot’s Central Campus. Police say it appears it is the same threat that has been circulating across different parts of the country against a “Central High School”. Officers say the safety of our community’s children is their priority and they will continue to investigate, work with Minot Public Schools, and update when possible.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Next month’s abbreviated session of the North Dakota Legislature is intended to finish the job of legislative redistricting and determine how federal coronavirus relief aid will be spent, though some lawmakers want to broaden the agenda. More than two dozen bills have been submitted ahead of the session planned for Nov. 8, said John Bjornson, who heads the nonpartisan Legislative Council, the Legislature’s research arm.
The deadline for submitting the bills was last week. Details of the legislation, and sponsors, won’t be revealed until the bills are approved for introduction, which would happen shortly ahead of the special or reconvened session, Bjornson said.
Several lawmakers told The Associated Press that much of the legislation has come from a loosely organized group of ultraconservative legislators known as the Bastiat Caucus, which supports limited government and gun rights. Bismarck Republican Rep. Rick Becker, who heads the caucus, said he was aware of a few bills from his group, and that most of the proposals, including one of his own, are aimed at preventing vaccine mandates in the state. Any bills that are introduced will have to first win the endorsement of the House or Senate’s delayed-bills committee. The bipartisan panels both have five members and are controlled by the Legislature’s GOP leadership, which will limit the introductions of bills.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and GOP House Majority Leader Chet Pollert said they want to limit the session’s agenda to a handful of subjects. Chief among them is legislative redistricting, a mandatory political task that defines the areas state lawmakers will represent for the next decade.
Also topping the list will be debate on how to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid the state received this year. House and Senate appropriations committees are expected to finish prioritizing uses for the money next week, and forward the recommendations to the full Legislature for consideration.
The North Dakota Constitution limits the Legislature to 80 days of meetings every two years, and this year’s regular session used 76 days. That means if the Legislature calls itself back into session, lawmakers will have to shoehorn the redistricting job and federal coronavirus aid spending into just four days. Each of those subjects would take a minimum of three legislative days to be approved by both chambers of the Legislature.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Drought conditions in North Dakota have significantly improved because of widespread precipitation recently. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that much of western and central North Dakota is in severe drought, but that is an upgrade from the extreme drought category a week ago. And, Golden Valley County, which had the worst rating of exceptional drought has improved to severe drought. A large portion of eastern North Dakota also has been upgraded. Much of the region is now listed only as “abnormally dry,” and most of the southeast has been moved out of any drought category, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
Recent rain and snow have boosted soil moisture in North Dakota for two straight weeks. “Excluding the northwest corner of North Dakota, 14-day precipitation amounts have totaled 2 to 6 inches,” said Climate Prediction Center meteorologist Brad Pugh. The precipitation and a dropping temperatures have curtailed wildfire activity exacerbated by the drought.
“We are still at the same numbers for wildfire acreage and totals as we were last week, which is a great testament to how the recent rains and other conditions have helped,” said Beth Hill, acting outreach and education manager for the North Dakota Forest Service. There have been about 2,400 wildfires in North Dakota burning nearly 200 square miles this year. The number of fires is more than 2½ times the number all of last year, and the acres that burned are more than 10 times what burned in all of 2020.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A North Dakota man is charged with second-degree murder in the decapitation killing this month of a man at the victim’s home on the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico, authorities said Thursday. A criminal complaint alleged that 28-year old Shilo Aaron Oldrock attacked and decapitated the victim with an ax on Oct. 10 and burned his head in a wood stove before fleeing, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Mexico. During a search of the victim’s home after the killing was reported to tribal police, an ax was found next to the victim’s body and his charred head was found in the stove, an FBI agent said in an affidavit filed in court.
The affidavit identified the victim only by his initials, B.K. He lived in the rural community of Navajo, about 31 miles north of Gallup, the affidavit said. Oldrock is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and he lived in Fargo, North Dakota, the statement said. A lawyer appointed to represent Oldrock, Alejandro Benito Fernandez, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the allegations Oldrock faces.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota is working to extend its contract with Hollywood actor Josh Duhamel to promote tourism in his home state. Among the least-visited states in the nation, North Dakota’s top tourism official said the 48-year-old star of several “Transformers” movies has been effective in attracting visitors to the state better known for its brutal cold weather than as a vacation destination. “He has helped expand our image and awareness of our state,” said Sara Otte Coleman, who heads the state’s tourism agency. Duhamel, a native of Minot, has been the face of North Dakota and its pitchman since 2013. He has been paid more than $1 million from the state since then. “He’s a great ambassador for our state and cares about where he comes from,” Otte Coleman said.
Duhamel was the honorary chairman of fund that raised millions of dollars for victims of a 2011 flood in his hometown that swamped more than 4,000 homes and businesses. About 11,000 people were forced to evacuate.
(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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